Notes Haney begins Twitter war with Foley

By Doug FergusonMarch 10, 2011, 4:16 am

WGC-Cadillac ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – No other caddie has traveled so far to work so little than Steve Williams.

Part of that is because Williams lives in New Zealand, and his 5-year-old son Jett is now going to school. And part of that is Woods playing in different parts of the world this early in the season.

Asked how his frequent flyer profile was looking, Williams just shook his head Wednesday.

“Put it this way,” he said. “Qantas has me on speed dial.”

When he leaves Miami after this week’s Cadillac Championship, Williams already will have flown some 60,000 miles to work four tournaments. In one case, Williams spent more time in the air than his hotel room.

He started in January by flying from Auckland to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. Then came the Auckland-Dubai round trip two weeks later. But the worst of it was the Match Play Championship.

“I stayed in my hotel one night and went home,” he said.

Williams arrived in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday. Woods lost in the first round the next day to Thomas Bjorn, and by evening, Williams was on a flight to Los Angeles to catch a connection back home.

After this week, he will stay two days in Orlando for a made-for-TV exhibition, leaving Tuesday and getting home on Thursday. He’ll be home three days before flying back to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, then return home after the tournament.

His wife used to come to America for Bay Hill, and they would go somewhere on vacation before the Masters. But with his son in school, Williams goes back to New Zealand for three days before flying to Augusta.

When he gets home after the Masters, he already will have logged nearly 94,000 miles in the air.


 

TWITTER WARS: Tiger Woods is part of another emerging rivalry – between his coaches.

Sean Foley, who has been working with Woods since the PGA Championship, started with an interview last year in which he was quoted as saying about former coach Hank Haney, “Let’s be honest about this, it’s not like he was flushing it with Hank.”

Then came a story posted Wednesday on golf.com when Foley poked fun at Haney once saying he knew Woods from observing, without ever getting to know him.

Haney has been firing back on Twitter ever since.

“If you want to be entertained go to Golf.com and read Sean Foley’s latest version of ripping Hank Haney, all I can say is wow,” was the first of several tweets from Haney.

He sent out some two dozen tweets – mostly retweets from his followers – over the next five hours related to the dispute. Haney’s twitter account is HankDHaney.


 

SPANISH HERO: Alvaro Quiros knows plenty about Seve Ballesteros and the greatness of his game. But when it comes to Spanish golfing heroes, he starts with Jose Maria Olazabal.

Quiros did not start playing golf until he was 9, and Ballesteros was on the tail end of his career. He remembers Olazabal winning his first Masters in 1994, and especially the second green jacket in 1999 after returning from an injury that nearly ended his career.

“I think Olazabal is a gentleman inside and outside the golf course, and this is the most important thing, to be a gentleman or to be a nice person, more than a great golfer,” Quiros said.

The first time he met Olazabal, the big-hitting Spaniard could barely speak.

It was in 1999 for the American Express Championship at Valderrama, and Olazabal was invited to see the public course when Quiros and other juniors got their start.

“I played with a friend, and on the second tee, suddenly arrives the main guy of the pro shop and he said, ‘Hey, get out of the way because Olazabal is coming behind you,”’ Quiros said. “It was Olazabal! So he arrives to the tee, hits his driver in the third hole and he says, ‘Come on, hit the ball.’

“We were watching each other and I said (to his friend), ‘He’s speaking with us.’ I cannot even put the ball on the tee. I was shaking.”


 

TIGER AND TYSON: NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller didn’t pull any punches two weeks ago when he said Tiger Woods’ downfall reminded him of the Mike Tyson story.

“Sort of invincible, scared everybody, performed quickly under pressure – until Buster Douglas came along,” Miller said. “Tiger sort of hit that and it’s life. And his life crumbled.”

Woods was asked about the comparison with Tyson on Wednesday.

“I don’t think I’m as big as he is,” Woods said. “No, that’s Johnny being Johnny, and making statements like that, I think he’s done that before in the past, hasn’t he?”

Woods then was asked if Miller had crossed the line.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “And he has his, which is a lot.”


 

DIVOTS: Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, who grew up together in South Africa, will be in the same pairing the first two days. Schwartzel said it will be the first time they’ve been in the same group for the early rounds since they turned pro. … Tim Clark will be playing for the first time since his runner-up finish at the Sony Open two months ago because of an elbow injury. … Of the 48 PGA Tour members in the 69-man field, five have never won a PGA Tour event – rookie Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Na, Jeff Overton, Rickie Fowler and Kevin Streelman, who got into the field based on his third-place finish in the FedEx Cup playoff opener last year at The Barclays.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.